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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 20, 2009 4:00pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Spam from metadata file?

Just uploaded a test file and noticed that my e-mail address is included in the metadata file.

Is there anything to stop this being spidered by spammers?

Wouldn't it make more sense to include the uploader's username rather than address, or at least alter the address to stop making it so spamcrawler-friendly?

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Poster: jonc Date: Sep 20, 2009 4:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

My understanding is that spam crawlers sniff out "mailto" links. I haven't heard of any reading XML code.

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 21, 2009 3:13am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Whatever spam harvesters have done in the past, it wouldn't be at all difficult for them to harvest all the e-mail addresses from Archive.org's XML files. Surely we should be taking precautions about this now?

If an address gets flooded with spam you change it, but if you change addresses you no longer have any access to your uploads.

The problem is that archive.org has been built around using e-mail addresses as forms of ID when really it should be using usernames (which are useless to spammers).

And also as someone says, it means that anyone who browses your uploads can get your e-mail address, which is a privacy issue that most uploaders may not be aware of. If archive.org is going to give out every uploader's e-mail address they ought to be warning people before they make an upload.

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Poster: RupertMartin Date: Sep 23, 2009 2:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Hi Folks,

Thank you for expressing your concern about this issue! Rupert from Internet Archive staff here. And yes, we're alive & well -- and probably like yourselves, busy with keeping the machinery of the daily work humming. (You do so much with such a *small* staff! is a comment frequently heard from folks who bump into our brick-&-mortar side of things.)

User privacy is indeed a concern for the Internet Archive. You see that in the principles of the Oakland Archive Policy (see link at http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php#Report_Item ). You also see it in the response to being served a National Security Letter (NSL) -- below is a short extract from a 2008 story in the New York Times. (A big Thank You to the user who featured it in the forum post here: http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=192382 )

For users who chose to upload to archive.org, the email address a user enters when creating the Library Card ( http://www.archive.org/account/login.createaccount.php ) is stored along with all the rest of the metadata regarding the item. As has been noted in other forum posts, all the metadata associated with an item is viewable by following the link to the metadata file, regardless of whether the particular metadata value is expressed directly on the details page. This has remained unchanged.

Please note that searching archive.org for items uploaded by a particular user requires searching for uploader:screenname. Attempts to search by uploader's email address are routed to the Wayback Machine, as they're recognized as the web-information-type query that they are. For more on the Wayback Machine: http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php#The_Wayback_Machine


Thank you for bringing this up in the forums! This is helpful. We're listening.


You may be interested also in these resources for Internet Archive developments-as-they-happen:

http://ianews.wordpress.com/

http://twitter.com/internetarchive

Collections specific:
http://internetarchive.wordpress.com/


-----

Original posting:

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=192382

Internet Archive Challenges F.B.I.’s Secret Records Demand
By GRANT GROSS, IDG News Service\Washington Bureau, IDG
Published: May 7, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_852573C40069388000257442004ECECE.html?ref=technology

...

Although the settlement keeps parts of the FBI request secret, Kahle applauded the lawsuit and settlement, saying it will show other businesses how to challenge NSLs. The FBI issued nearly 200,000 NSLs between 2003 and 2006, according to a U.S. Department of Justice inspector general's report.
"We see this as an unqualified success," Kahle said during a news conference. "The goal here was to help other recipients of NSLs ... understand that you can push back on these."
The gag order prevented Kahle from discussing the case with the library's board of directors, staff, and even his wife, he said. "Gags don't seem to be necessary," he said. "Gagging librarians is horrendous."
Kahle's lawyers declined to talk about the nature of the FBI investigation or reveal the identity of the targeted user.
The NSL sent to the Internet Archive asked for a user's name, address, length of service, e-mail header information and activity logs. The FBI investigation was "relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities," according to the FBI letter.
The Internet Archive provided the FBI some information that was publicly available on the site, but could not comply with the FBI request because the site does not track user activity or record IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney with the EFF. The site asks only for an unverified e-mail address when users register.
...

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 23, 2009 2:39pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

"For users who chose to upload to archive.org, the email address a user enters when creating the Library Card ( http://www.archive.org/account/login.createaccount.php ) is stored along with all the rest of the metadata regarding the item. As has been noted in other forum posts, all the metadata associated with an item is viewable by following the link to the metadata file, regardless of whether the particular metadata value is expressed directly on the details page. This has remained unchanged."

We know our e-mail addresses are visible to everyone in the world, including all spammers. What we want to know is WHY they are visible.

If you want to show which user has uploaded an item, why not just display their username? That would solve the spam problem and most of the privacy problem too.

In short, why do you display our addresses instead of our usernames?

Also, how confident are you that displaying e-mail addresses in public without direct consent is legal?

This post was modified by finnobrit on 2009-09-23 21:39:45

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 23, 2009 5:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

The fact is, I really don't give a crap about spammers. I have a really good spam filter on my e-mail and what little gets through I can take care it of myself. What I'm concerned about is someone getting a hold of my address and using it for other purposes. On this site it is not difficult to connect the e-mail with the user name. I have concerns about how an unscrupulous individual could use this information, especially to post messages or upload certain files and make it look like I did it or someone else did. If I'm being overly concerned about this, let me know.

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Poster: elmagno Date: Sep 23, 2009 5:43pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Rupert's post is completely unresponsive to the central question--the exposure of members' email addresses to anyone who would like to get them.

I don't think they would search for the uploader's email via the IA search function. Actually that's a completely absurd notion, right?

Or did I miss the money quote?

This post was modified by elmagno on 2009-09-24 00:43:46

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 23, 2009 11:33pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Yes, it would be nice if Rupert were to let us know how IA is going to deal with our concerns in more clear terms. The best suggestion I've heard would be to name the uploader with the user's screen name rather than his or her e-mail address, that would sure make a lot more sense. But how do we go about it? There's a lot of items to go through. But I have an idea. Maybe IA can set it up to where we can make the changes to the files ourselves! WE could change our own information (at least go from e-mail to user name) and IA wouldn't have to do a thing! Or here's another idea, how about if IA were to remove access to these files from the general public altogether? Now this would be tough on me since I've been having so much fun looking at other people's metadata, and I know I would be so hurt if one day I went to look at k-otic's metadata and found it was no longer available to me, but I promise I won't slash my wrists over it. But this would make life easier for everyone, no more worries. If anyone's still reading the crap I've been spouting, let me know what you think of my ideas. Then let IA know what you think.

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Poster: zigoto Date: Sep 25, 2009 12:09pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I think that a great idea. Let's do it ourselves. And while they're at it, why can't they let us assign the section the item needs to go to. We wouldn't have to ask for it to be moved any more.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 26, 2009 2:41pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

The problem with letting everyone move their own files to whatever section they felt they should go would be that you would have, for example, more stuff like this in Feature Films:
http://www.archive.org/details/Microfisica_Remix
I'm not putting this film down or saying it's good or bad, but it belongs in another section. I saw that there are a few foreign films sections and this is more likely to belong in one of them than here. Also, have you tried looking for feature films using a keyword search, or typing "feature films" in the search bar? You get a listing for all kinds of stuff, most of which doesn't qualify as a feature film. The mess we would have would be worse than the mess we've got now. No, we need to have a moderator, because a library this big needs structure and organization. We had it once here and I'm hoping we'll have it again soon.

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Poster: zigoto Date: Sep 28, 2009 4:10pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Of course you're right, it would still need monitoring. I admit, it was mainly the "Classic TV" section I had in mind. I do think that, at least for that section, it would be easier to REmove the few that don't belong there.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 28, 2009 6:04pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Yes, it should be easy, but, again, staff are the guys that have to do it, so it puts us right back to the same rut.

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 25, 2009 1:17pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Hey zigoto ! Did you know that in french zigoto means weird dude ? C'est qui ,ce zigoto là ?

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Poster: zigoto Date: Sep 25, 2009 5:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

No I didn't know that. I only knew that there was an old Pathe comedy series called "Zigoto". So I guess the translation makes sense. :)

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 26, 2009 12:58am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

But zigoto is really ok ,compared to therepertoire in french to designate all the shades of oddballs in the universe ! So ,zigoto , is closer to unknown stranger than weirdo ,but still it is a slang word,funy to find here ,as name for an american .Au revoir ,Mr Zigoto!

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Poster: danielpferreira Date: Sep 30, 2013 7:30pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

What was the resolutions of this issue?

Sorry for asking in such an old thread, but I couldn't find any other posts about this.

I just recently found out my email appears as metadata in all files I upload. I never thought this information was public.

Thank you in advance for any reply regarding this topic.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 20, 2009 6:51pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

If this helps you breathe a little easier, as far as I know, the only people besides you that have access to your metadata files are IA staff members.

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Poster: jonc Date: Sep 20, 2009 7:05pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

That's not true, if you browse the directories, you can access the files from there. For example,

http://ia311234.us.archive.org/2/items/natural_born_gambler/natural_born_gambler_meta.xml

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Sep 23, 2009 2:55pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

That was common place before. I honestly did not know they took them away. You used to be able to see reviewers email on items too... had a major problem with that and someone using an old dead email address that unfortunately had a name in it that certain violent extremists who post snuff videos got a hold of... you can imagine the concern.

Not to mention a mod here who was on a vandetta and decided to publish personal names and other information. I will say no more on the subject but it happened.

Ironically they boasted on here about how they refused to give the ip's and emails (which were probably bogus anyway) of jihadi's posting snuff films and other stuff... go figure!

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 26, 2009 1:46am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

You mean,Noise Collector,they were criminals who sent snuff movies on archive ?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:59pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Well some folks on here call them freedom fighters, but I call people who murder journalists in front of video cameras in the name of god criminals... so yes. There were plenty of snuff films uploaded to the archive showing everything from children kicking around a severed limb while chanting "god is great" to a man bound and blindfolded out in the desert having his throat cut and the same chanting occurs while he chokes to death on his own blood.

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:52pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

You are truly a good decent man,Noise Collector !They are indeed some disgusting people on this planet who are no better than hellish beasts but brag about it as freedom ,religion,or plain normality ,and usually find supporters to cheer them too,very revealing as to the wide range of best and worse tobe reveled concerning humanity !To endure seeing such filthy movies so as to discover what such films are about ,take great courage too !If you hadn't done it such horrors would have remained on archive as pastimes for perverts .

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Poster: FP Date: Sep 30, 2009 6:44am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I always thought the jihadist movies should be segregated, for reasons other than ideology or offensiveness. Practically, they've made the OPEN SOURCE MOVIES section almost useless to browse for fun. Nearly every upload in that section has, for years, featured a turbaned, bearded man giving a sermon or speech, or the aforementioned "snuff" videos.

OPEN SOURCE used to be a place to catch random indy movie trailers, video experiments, oddball home movies, all kinds of fun little surprises that weren't on YouTube. Now those are buried amidst the less fun, war-spawned middle eastern content.

I hate censorship of any kind, so I think these movies should simply be kept in a section apart, due to their smothering number and their inflammatory, and in these repressive times in the USA, potentially illegal content.
Historians might find these enthusiastic videos of interest some day, but they sure are controversial. Only the archive's relative obscurity has prevented more unpleasant attention to this batch of uploads. A few years ago I found a video in OPEN SOURCE that featured the onscreen deaths of several US soldiers in Iraq, with funny cartoon "boing" sound effects and wacky music. The killings were replayed in slow motion, with highlighted areas to show flying body parts. There was a laugh track. Titles and voiceovers were in some kind of curlicue language. That's some weird shit that could cause complications for the archive. It shouldn't have a "chilling effect" that locks out content, but potential difficulty caused by the mere presence of the aforementioned soldier death videos is something that can't be safely ignored. Can you imagine what might happen if Bill O'Reilly or some other TV goon would seize upon this situation, become "outraged", and direct the public's attention to certain crazy war videos in OPEN SOURCE? One weeping war widow reacting, on camera, to a shot of her husband's head being blown off while cartoon music plays could change things in a bad way for the wonderful resource of archive.org.

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 30, 2009 8:20am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Hi, FP ! Frankly I am not that surprised to find out creepos would target archive to use for hate propaganda !

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 20, 2009 11:34pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I just checked a couple of random files and YES, you CAN find the uploaders e-mail address! Not that I'm too fanatical about maintaining a "secret identity" or anything. I also mistakenly thought you were referring to the editing process with the "edit item" button (which only shows up on the details page of your own uploads). I don't know if I should be alarmed about this or not. I really believed that no one here could get your e-mail address unless you gave it out, but I guess I was wrong.

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 21, 2009 3:33am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I've just fired off an email to Archive about this issue. Interestingly when you look up their address they write it as "info at archive dot org"... why are they protecting their own address but not those of their uploaders?

Apart from the risk of spammers, archive.org should be warning people very clearly that their address is visible to everyone from all their uploads. This is not only politeness, but a legal requirement in many countries.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Sep 21, 2009 7:02am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Actually, they don't protect their mailto address. Check out their Terms of Use. There's a link at the bottom of the page.

I've contacted IA about this. Hope everyone here does that.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 21, 2009 2:53pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I intend to do the same, but with the way things have been here, I don't expect much in the way of action. Getting staff to respond to ANYTHING is like getting Nixon to talk about the tapes. I like the Archive, but staff had better respond to this issue in a timely manner, or I may have to do something drastic. The whole world does not have the right to my personal information unless I decide to give it out, and the rest of you folks that upload have the same right to privacy. I would advise staff not to blow this off like they've been blowing everything else off. They should pay heed to our concern on this.

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Poster: Vance Capley Date: Sep 21, 2009 5:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Attention:
Please do not post our private e-mail addresses.

Thank you

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Poster: Meatpies Date: Sep 21, 2009 5:49pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

No site support, email addresses just out there for anyone to grab and use for spam, absolutely no staff member anywhere to answer any questions, no one to even talk to about helping out on a volunteer basis... folks, do you get the feeling that if we were to be stuck in an IA buiding and looked outside, we'd see that an entire nuclear war had happened, and no one bothered to tell us? That's what this feels like.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 21, 2009 6:11pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I just sent an e-mail to them, and though I took great care to watch my &%@$ing language, I pulled no punches airing my disgust at their incompetence. Now, though I've suffered no real inconvenience from this situation (yet), I'm sure I'm going to hear from someone (if I hear from anyone at all) about how unfair I'm being with my harsh criticism of the way things are being handled here. Too bad. This situation with the e-mail addreses is intolerable and inexcusable, and who knows how long it has been going on. Diana Hamilton is supposed to be the "administrator" for IA (correct me if I'm wrong) but I'm beginning to wonder if even she is still here with IA. If she is, then let's see some administrating being done. People were getting annoyed and angry enough with the files not being moved, now we have this problem. I don't care if staff wants to get angry with me over the remarks I've made at this point. The people I care about are folks like sato-kaiba-is-stupid, k-otic, meatpies, skybandit, scott saunders, and so on. These are the people who are really doing the work to make this site a great place to visit. It's just too bad staff won't hold up their end, because the work of these good people, the uploaders, is going to waste, and I think it's a shame that their efforts are being treated with such disregard. So, to you uploaders, all of you, if the staff dosen't give a damn about your efforts, I DO!

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 22, 2009 12:58am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

It's more than just us being annoyed about the e-mail thing, revealing users' addresses like that without consent or warning is probably illegal, and clearly not something they'd want users to know about.

If they don't respond to us we might post about this e-mail issue on every archive.org forum, and if that doesn't work we could report archive.org to a privacy pressure group or even law enforcement agency.


"No site support, email addresses just out there for anyone to grab and use for spam, absolutely no staff member anywhere to answer any questions, no one to even talk to about helping out on a volunteer basis..."

If things are that bad, it makes me wonder how long archive.org will continue to exist. If they don't have the resources to answer e-mails or even induct volunteers to help out, do they really have the resources to indefinitely host an ever-growing mountain of ever-larger video and other files?

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 22, 2009 2:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

I've already considered many of the points you've brought up. The idea of putting on pressure by making as much noise in the forums is a good one except for the fact that our concerns are evidently being ignored by staff, but at the very least by us posting messages we would make other patrons aware of this problem, which is also important. As for what we can do to protect our privacy, the only option I could think of is to not only refrain from uploading new material, but to take the time of looking up everything we've already uploaded and take it down. I don't know how effective this would be because if there are no staff members to move the items, then there are no staff to remove the details pages. I know as an uploader I can delete certain files when I edit one of my pages, but I don't know if I can delete the file with my e-mail address. I think only staff can take down the details page. Another point, if IA were to continue to ignore our concerns on this issue and we were to take the matter up with an outside agency by filing complaints against them, one of two things would happen, both extreme. One, the problem would be taken care of and we could continue to use this site the way we have been without worrying about giving up our privacy. The other, and most likely, result would be that IA would shut down, and as angry as I am right now, I still don't want that to happen as I still feel that IA is worth saving. Lastly, the last point you brought up, about IA shutting down, there's a possibility that it may already be in the process of doing so, but all I can do is guess since my attempts to get answers to what's going on have been futile. I still hope that things will straighten out. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

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Poster: Dwight Frye Date: Sep 22, 2009 5:45am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

Am beginning to wonder if there even is a staff.Have already put a hold on all uploads,until they get things straightened out.One thing we could do,remove all items that we have posted here and close our accounts.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Sep 22, 2009 10:47pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Spam from metadata file?

You may have something there. Pissed off as I am right now, I would like nothing better than to think there is another reason for what's happening here than just the staff being a bunch of lazy, irresponsible jerks. If they were to offer a reasonable explanation for why things are the way they are, then I would have no choice but to take back the critcisms I've made. Until then, we're left to figure things out on our own.

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Poster: elmagno Date: Sep 21, 2009 3:36am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Critical.

*uploader*youremailaddresshere/*uploader*

Who would like a huge list of addresses of active film junkies? I can think of a lot of commercial interests, can't you?

Harvesting these from IA, as it stands now, is a piece of cake. Perhaps this thread should be taken down until an internal sweep of the above xml lines (and perhaps others) can be performed.

This post was modified by elmagno on 2009-09-21 10:36:59

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 21, 2009 3:41am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Critical.

If anyone from archive.org is reading this, please respond to this thread and people's e-mails.

If you don't respond we'll have to start warning users ourselves about this flaw, they deserve to know whether their addresses are being given out or not.

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Poster: elmagno Date: Sep 21, 2009 4:00am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Critical.

I couldn't find a way to report this via this site. I took (the very small, I hope) liberty of harvesting the email address of someone who seems to be associated with IA. I,of course, fully identified myself and provided my own email address to them. It's so easy to do and there are thousands of addresses exposed.

I hope I am mistaken, but this seems a huge security issue that needs to be examined right this minute.

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Poster: finnobrit Date: Sep 21, 2009 4:19am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Critical.

That's an excellent idea, I might do that as well.

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